Blue Notes

Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.

Recap: Today's NYR-Habs news: Brassard, Miller in, Stepan 'unlikely'

Rangers center Derek Stepan brings the puck up

Rangers center Derek Stepan brings the puck up ice in the second period. (April 3, 2013) (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

Derek Stepan (surgery for broken jaw after hit by Brandon Prust) is “unlikely” to dress for Game 4, according to coach Alain Vigneault. He was in the hospital Saturday afternoon recovering from the operation, AV said. But Ryan McDonagh said the team “was preparing “as if” his former Wisconsin teammate will play. And the Canadiens aren’t positive that Stepan won’t play. “He got up yapping and yelling, so I don’t think the jaw was hurting so much,” said Brendan Gallagher.

Asked Brian Boyle about retribution for Stepan: “Winning Game 4 is retribution.”

Prust, who was suspended for two games, said the hit was 0.2 seconds late. “That’s on me. The contact was clean…it’s an unfortunate injury…Step’s a friend of mine.” Prust said he texted Stepan when he heard the jaw was fractured. “I felt awful,” he said.

fter practice, Derick Brassard, who has played just 35 seconds of the series after a hit by Mike Weaver in Game 1, told us he was 100 percent and would play Sunday. “Brass cleared himself, he didn’t tell me,” Vigneault said later. “That’s good news!” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said in his French-language part of the briefing: “We know exactly where he’s injured.”

Vigneault said he didn’t think linesman Scott Driscoll handled the incident with Dan Carcillo, who was suspended for 10 games for elbowing Driscoll, very well. “I don’t understand why (he) grabbed him like that,” and should have just told him to go to the penalty box. But says again that Carcillo was wrong and was contrite. “I can’t begin to tell you how he feels about the whole thing, his situation, his personal future, the team.” Brad Richards said Carcillo has been a “great teammate.”

Ulf Samuelsson, who was watching the Canadiens practice at MSG, was asked to leave the stands by Therrien, who said it violated a “gentlemen’s agreement”. GM Glen Sather stayed to watch. Apparently Sather and Habs GM Marc Bergevin spoke, and there was no such agreement, or it wasn’t communicated correctly.  

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